Information Technology is just a tool to help you do what you’re already doing now, but better. Smart use of technology can improve your organisation’s capacity, effectiveness and financial efficiency.
For many community organisations with limited time and resources figuring out how to use it better can seem overwhelming or confusing but investing some time now to develop an IT plan can save you a lot of effort and money over the long term.
Having a plan to improve your organisation’s information technology (IT or sometimes ICT, for information and communication technology) can help you fix what’s broken, do a better job of helping clients and finding funders, and give you a bit more certainty about where you’re headed in the future.
Why have an IT plan?
Understanding what information and communication technology can do and having a plan to make it work for your organisation could make your service delivery quicker, better and cheaper.
Technology also has the power to integrate an organisation’s mission and business plan - management, finance, budget, material procurement and personnel services - with its service delivery.
An IT plan will help you:
- Get funding
- Use technology effectively to further your mission
- Buy the right equipment
- Save money
- Avoid crises
- Use staff time more effectively
- Protect yourself from staff turnover by documenting existing systems and future plans.
How to develop a plan
The plan is about more than computer hardware and software. It’s about how the organisation can better realise its mission, achieve its goals and provide more and better services for the people it serves.
When you start thinking about an IT plan, ask yourself:
- What is our organisation trying to achieve?
- How can we become more effective in achieving our goals?
- Are there ways of working that are more effective than present methods?
- How can administrative support technology make our work more effective?
- Get commitment of the organisation’s leadership
- Ask staff for feedback
- Record what you have and know
- Map out how well your organisation uses technology now (strengths and weaknesses)
- Identify your IT improvement goals
- Document the projects or actions you intend to resource to improve your IT environment.
More information on developing an IT plan
For more information and resources to help in writing an IT plan take a look at the Making an IT plan digital business kit on the ImproveIT website.